After Aaron Ramsdale's arrival at Arsenal, Mikel Arteta was full praise for the 23-year-old. The 23-year old was described by Arteta as an "ideal" signing and will quickly become a favorite of the fans. He said, "I believe they will love his personality and his character."
It was clear that his first impressions were positive. His family proudly supporting him at his unveiling was a warm memory. His interview with the media, which saw him smile from ear to ears, was a perfect example of humility and ambition.
He said that he was looking forward to making a connection with fans at the Emirates Stadium. He promised his supporters that he would not shy away from any challenge. He added that he was here to push Bernd Leno and take his shirt.
Ramsdale's attitude can not be faulted, but many still feel the same scepticism that welcomed him from Sheffield United.
It is difficult to sell a 30m deal on a young goalkeeper who has suffered back-to-back Premier League relegations.
It was difficult to believe that he would ever join a big-six team at the end of last season. Sheffield United paid 18.5m for Dean Henderson to be resigned from Bournemouth, but it was not easy to replicate Dean Henderson's performance.
Ramsdale had a tough start at Bramall Lane. The Blades were at the bottom of their table and the goalkeeper became emblematic of the poor recruitment that would lead to Chris Wilder's departure.
Sheffield United had only taken two points from 17 games at the beginning of January. Ramsdale was still waiting to get his first clean sheet. Only two goalkeepers, Sam Johnstone from West Brom and Illan Meslier from Leeds, had conceded more goals.
Sheffield United was confirmed in April as relegated. Ramsdale was on a path of redemption.
Image: Ramsdale did not miss a second of the Premier League last year
His dramatic improvement earned him the club's Player of the Year award. This was his third season in a row, including the one he received while playing on loan at AFC Wimbledon League One. He also got a late call up to the England Euro 2020 squad.
His move to Arsenal last Friday has placed him under greater scrutiny. However, his critics can find plenty in the statistics.
Opta's data on expected goals places Ramsdale amongst the Premier League's most inept goalkeepers.
He also dropped more high-balls than anyone (10), and only two goalkeepers made greater individual errors that led to opposition shots (6).
Arsenal will, however, have tried to put those numbers into context when they weighed up his move.
After all, he was playing in a team lacking confidence and behind a defense that was missing Jack O'Connell, who was suffering from a knee injury.
These circumstances were difficult and took a psychological toll. Ramsdale later acknowledged that he had lost some of his self-belief.
Ramsdale should receive better protection from Arsenal. They had the third-best Premier League defensive record last season. While the expected goals data is concerning, Ramsdale beat Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford and Liverpool's Alisson Becker in that metric in Ramsdale's previous campaign with Bournemouth.
Arsenal hopes that his poor start to the 2020/21 campaign will not affect his numbers. They will be able to see that six of his mistakes that led to shots were made in his first fifteen appearances and that seven of his 10 drops occurred before January.
Anthony White, a former Bournemouth goalkeeping coach, said that he's "like having a coach in the pitch".
He was 18 when he came to us and wanted to become a first-team goalkeeper. But he knew exactly what he needed to do to get there.
"He took out a loan, and he had the opportunity to succeed and fail, but in a positive manner. He found out that mortgages and livelihoods of people were at risk. It was huge to keep AFC Wimbledon going and it made him a maturer person when he returned.
He is positive, a leader, and an influencer in the dressing room. He thrives in all situations, which is what amazes me. He doesn't let anything stop him, and that is something you should never forget. It's either you have it or not.
He is a great player and has a deep understanding of the game. It's like having a coach at the pitch. He can answer any question you have about football. He understands football better than most coaches. It is fascinating to hear him speak.
His greatest strength is his self-awareness and personality. He is a natural in possession, but his personality also helps him to be a positive influence on the team. He's a young man who has accomplished so much and has a strong character.
Everybody at Sheffield United knew Ramsdale's improvements at that point. His upturn in form was rare in a season of instability and strife. By February, Ramsdale was also getting recognition from the outside world.
After Ramsdale had single-handedly held Liverpool at bay, Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness said that "he is making saves he's not entitled to make." He did this by making a series of outstanding stops at Bramall Lane. Jurgen Klopp called his performance "incredible."
Image: Ramsdale denies Liverpool Curtis Jones at Bramall Lane
Arsenal was evidently closely following his progress at the time and his age was a significant factor.
Ramsdale, who turned 23 in May 2017, is still very young in goalkeeping terms. Ramsdale still has a lot of room for improvement, but Arteta pointed out last week that he already has "huge" experience.
Ramsdale was actually the third-youngest Premier League goalkeeper to make 75 appearances, nine days after his 23rd Birthday.
Scott Carson and Joe Hart were the only players to reach that age. Joe Hart and Petr Cech have had stellar careers at the highest levels.
Ramsdale is a good sign and the coaches and players who know him well have plenty of faith in him.
Paul Heckingbottom was appointed interim manager of Sheffield United after Wilder's departure. Asmir Begovic, Asmir's former teammate at Bournemouth, said that "what he did over the past couple of years shows everybody the quality he has."
Arsenal believe Ramsdale will continue to improve and develop as he did during the second half last season. However, his 30m price tag makes him one of the most expensive goalkeepers in the world. This brings with it a new level pressure and expectation.
Arteta will be inspired by Ramsdale's mental strength in overcoming difficult times last season. Much will depend on his ability to cope with the move up to a larger club, especially considering the need for immediate improvement.
Ramsdale must be prepared to go if Leno puts on more convincing performances than his performance against Brentford.
Image: Ramsdale signed an Arsenal long-term contract
He will have to learn to play in a new way. Arteta likes Ramsdale's distribution especially over long distances. However, the Spaniard prefers that his side play from the back, and it is unlikely that this will change.
Opta reports that Leno was short of 66% of his passes for Arsenal last season while Ramsdale had only 16% for Sheffield United. He only sent 31% of his passes in the previous campaign with Bournemouth.
This is only one of the many challenges he will face in his new environment. Arteta is positive Ramsdale will succeed, and Arsenal manager isn't his only admirer. Now it's up to him to prove them wrong and to justify spending the money.
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